Nobody could have imagined the effect the first non- Italian pope in almost five centuries would have on the world. For more than quarter of a century, John Paul crisscrossed the globe, preaching the Christian gospel and robustly challenging political systems and ethics.
Seen live by more people than any human in history, Pope John Paul evoked exaggerated adulation and detached criticism. He sought to bolster up Christianity as it declined in the developed world, while encouraging the growth of the Catholic Church in Latin America and Africa. His determined rejection of atheistic Communism played an important part in the collapse of the Soviet empire.
Having lived through the horror of World War II, Karol Wojtyla was a convincing opponent of dictatorships. Having survived two assassination attempts, He reached old age crippled with Parkinson's disease and arthritis.
Yet at his death, questions remained about banking scandals which involved the Holy See, and clerical sex abuse amongst other things.
Beatified just six years after his death, Pope John Paul remains an enigmatic figure. This book traces the life and controversial legacy of the Polish pontiff. John Paul II- The Path to Heaven, examines the journey which led to his beatification and the road which may yet see him proclaimed St. John Paul II.
Fr Michael Collins was born in 1936 and ordained in Rome in 1960. He worked in the Diocese of Derry for fifty years, spending eighteen years in charge of the Bogside parish of Longtower during The Troubles. He is now retired, but is a frequent broadcaster - contributing over 100 pieces for Radio Ulster’s Though for the Day programme, as well as appearing on Radio 4 and World Service. He has a passion for photography, and his book of archive photographs, Travellers in Time and Eternity was published in 2013